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Climbing -- Does Bike Weight Really Matter?

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Climbing -- Does Bike Weight Really Matter?

Old 05-07-24, 10:19 AM
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What the video shows somewhat, but most cyclists on cycling forums don't really understand is the difference between fast twitch and slow twitch. The struggles of the fast twitchers in anything endurance related are really hard. If you think the sprinters in a GC tour are going hard to win at the line, it's nothing compared to them trying to make the cutoff on a mountain/climbing stage. They may look like they're goofing off, but they're doing the best they can. Just making it to the end of a stage is hard enough. Horses for courses. People can talk about what the various climbers have done through the years, but those climbing stages Thor Hushovd won in the 2011 TDF rank up with the GOATs.

Last edited by seypat; 05-07-24 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-07-24, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
What the video shows somewhat, but most cyclists on cycling forums don't really understand is the difference between fast twitch and slow twitch. The struggles of the fast twitchers in anything endurance related are really hard. If you think the sprinters in a GC tour are going hard to win at the line, it's nothing compared to them trying to make the cutoff on a mountain/climbing stage. They may look like they're goofing off, but they're doing the best they can. Just making it to the end of a stage is hard enough. Horses for courses. People can talk about what the various climbers have done through the years, but those climbing stages Thor Hushovd won in the 2011 TDF rank up with the GOATs.
That's a good point. In my youth I was the guy who could steal home. Ask me to run more than 1/4 mi? Not happening.
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Old 05-07-24, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
The climbing challenge at the end is the truth. It shows it better than any explainations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCLvqN9kwuo
6 W/kg for the first 5 minutes of that climb, double ouch!

BTW, that climb is Beasore Road, from Bass Lake. The bridge where they finished is about 5 miles from the start.

Beasore is a legit climb. 3800 feet in just under 12 miles.
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Old 05-07-24, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
6 W/kg for the first 5 minutes of that climb, double ouch!

BTW, that climb is Beasore Road, from Bass Lake. The bridge where they finished is about 5 miles from the start.

Beasore is a legit climb. 3800 feet in just under 12 miles.
Yep, definitely way out of my league. But there is always someone faster unless you are MVDP!
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Old 05-07-24, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
6 W/kg for the first 5 minutes of that climb, double ouch!

BTW, that climb is Beasore Road, from Bass Lake. The bridge where they finished is about 5 miles from the start.

Beasore is a legit climb. 3800 feet in just under 12 miles.
Not to hijack the thread, but how is the riding around Bass Lake?
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Old 05-07-24, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Not to hijack the thread, but how is the riding around Bass Lake?
I haven't ridden around Bass Lake for 15 years or so, but back then the east side was pretty good with decent pavement. The west side was pretty rough.
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Old 05-09-24, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
When climbing, I think less about time savings and more about power savings.

If I can do a long climb at the same pace but with 10 fewer watts, that will make a huge difference in my fatigue. Even a 5 watts difference is noticeable.

Rough Rule of Thumb: When climbing at a spirited but not outrageous 1000 meters/hr, every kilogram requires about 3 watts. Add a kg, you have to put out another 3 watts. Dump a kg, reduce effort by 3 watts.
The reality of this hit me after I really leaned myself out. I did a very hilly route today at an easy pace...10kg of bodyweight ago, a particular 9% climb on the route would've had me in zone 3 or 4. Today, I was able to keep it in zone 2 and make sure the ride really was at the "easy" pace I intended. This has a compounding effect, as I'm better able to manage fatigue in order to put more volume in a week. Living in the mountains, there is only so much I can do to manage power.

In the spirit of the thread, my top time on that climb happens to be on my heavyish endurance bike and not my "climbing" bike. The weight difference between the two bikes would amount to a couple of watts of difference...what I'm actually able to hold on an extended climb varies more than that, on a day to day basis.
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Old 05-09-24, 06:46 PM
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The single most important factor in any form of rpad cycling is to look cool while doing it. Or at the very least to avoid looking stupid.
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Old 05-13-24, 02:45 PM
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Gearing is more important than Weight

I am overweight and old. In 2018 I climbed Mount Greylock with my bike. It was all in the gearing. According to Strava, I put in the toughest climb in a three hour radius of where I lived. HC Beyond category. It was a 10 mile segment starting at the bottom of a valley. Ending at the top of the mountain and going up the steeper North side. It had switchbacks greater than 20%. It was in a 45 mile round trip ride. I didn't put a foot down once. Yes I trained on a indoor trainer with power but I was in horrible shape compared to my racing years when I did crit racing.

11-34 in the back, 24,38 and 52 in the front. With the 34/24 I can get up almost any hill even at 300 pounds.

Gearing is more important than weight. You can always add more gears!!!!!
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Old 05-14-24, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sapper69
The single most important factor in any form of rpad cycling is to look cool while doing it. Or at the very least to avoid looking stupid.
IMO, everyone looks stupid in a lycra skin suit. It's just something we all need to accept.
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Old 05-14-24, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sapper69
The single most important factor in any form of rpad cycling is to look cool while doing it. Or at the very least to avoid looking stupid.
“Remember darling, don’t be a snook. It’s not how you feel. It’s how you look and you look marvelous”. Billy Crystal, SNL
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Old 05-14-24, 11:55 AM
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I have a 35 pound bike with a 34/42 hill gear
I have another bike that is 25lb and has a 42/21 "hill" gear
I climb better on the latter. I don't know exactly how much the 10lbs plays a part in that. Just sharing a personal observation...they are very different bikes and lots of things could be coming into play here, including frame geometry, tire size and a personal preference not to "spin"

The two bikes.

Last edited by Strawbunyan; 05-14-24 at 12:03 PM.
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